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Almost Finishing Touches



Finally! We're at the fun part of the kitchen process where we get to start accessorizing!

We gathered some existing thing we had, along with some material & color samples to compose this pallet.

One of the main element we're most excited about is the idea to integrate copper as an accent color & material which we felt would add the prefect amount of warmth to the overall feel.

We initially had these aluminum knobs...which are fine....but something about it just didn't feel very interesting...or special...


We wanted to use vintage knobs and ended up finding these simple standard 50's copper knobs from Second Use to go with our oak and whitened europly cabinet fronts. It's one of those things where we weren't totally sure if it was going to make everything look too dated or out of place....

But once we put them on, the whole kitchen instantly was totally the perfect thing that we we're looking for and everything felt 100 times more special and complete! Who would have thought that something as small as cabinet knobs can make such a big difference!

Here's the special nook for our collection of found glass jars with cork tops we've been collecting (I actually more than what's in the photos). I love how the onions even goes with the whole pallet!

I was especially happy to have found couple of these simple copper light sockets to hang above our island area! I was actually debating on whether to splurge on these brass ones from Restoration Hardware for almost $100 each for a simple light socket!! Good thing we waited, did more research, and ended up finding these similar ones from Grandbrass for only 1/10th of the price! I should take that extra cash I saved and buy some bottles of champagne to celebrate this triumphant score!

...we're getting SO close to the finishing line I can smell it! I'm picturing all our friends & family awaits for us at the end with warm towels &'s gonna be amazing.....



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Kitchen end in sight

We're nearing the finish line with our kitchen and it's starting to feel real nice.

Today we finally got the sink plumbed up and more trucking dirty dishes to the basement to be cleaned in the laundry sink.

We also received our whitened birch cabinet fronts back from the finisher today...they look great!

We're days from presentable overall shots and more details so stay tuned!

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Kitchen progress report

Alright, i know it's been a long time since we've updated on the progress of our kitchen. No, we're not done yet but yes we have made progress (unlike in the the past when we say we're doing but we're actually not). It's actually starting to get frighteningly close to a real kitchen...OH-EM-GEEE!




Cabinets IN!

Base on my trend study for this season ... I say that cabinets are totally IN....our kitchen that is.


We're just going with Ikea cabinets, but will finish the fronts with a mix of oak and birch plywood.

Amongst all the cabinets, we integrated an open nook to break up the space, but also just so I can display all my vintage glass jar collection to keep all my dry foods. Dylan drew that in just to see what it'd look like.

Testing our steel hanging bar!



Kitchen Progress Report

We decided to put things into high gear 2 weeks ago on our kitchen. I cutoff nearly all contact with the outside world and started calling in those favors from friends we knew we needed to get the job done.

First Jared and Nick helped me face my fear/lack of competence in electrical work and install all new electrical to the kitchen including the installation of recessed can lighting (so awesome to have now!)
Then my step dad Stan and I spent a day installing solid oak hardwood reclaimed from a friend of ours house. It was a total puzzle to put together but will look awesome and match the existing floor once it's all refinished.
Finally, Nick from Piano Nobile helped us cap off the week with the installation of our steel support frame, which looks and feels incredible in the space. We can really start to get a sense of how the kitchen will actually feel and it's such a huge improvement despite being a complete mess. So excited to get drywall in and start on the cabinets! Heres an overall glimpse of the space:



Back to the Land Homes (part two)


The much anticipated part two of my Back to the Land House post! The hardest part is not including every image of every interior of the book, but these are my top picks. These and more on Flickr.

Imagine a studio like this!

Or one of the many glorious geodesics.

Some inspiration for our kitchen!

I love the Japanese feeling of this space combined with the massive string art (the text caption is from the book...the way the whole thing is written...not sure what they're talking about most of the time)

These have me dreaming of an Adobe shack...

Circular windows!



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Back to the Land Homes (part one)

In the late seventies after a failed attempt to live out of a VW microbus, my Dad had the bright, romantic idea to drop the nomad lifestyle, move to the country, and live off the land. So he did the only sensible thing a twenty-something in that time period could think of, he bought a lone chicken coop on a couple of acres and decided to make it his home. So began years of trials and tribulations that are a prominent part of my family's folklore: a lost cow, brush fires, a roof-climbing goat named Jemima and the transformation of that chicken coop into a modest passive solar home worthy of his back to the land dream.

Like many similar utopian visions of that time, the romance inevitably wore off, practicality set in and we became city dwellers once again, but my Dad still shakes his head and says "I'm so glad I did that." I can't help but feel the same nostalgic romantic feeling from time to time myself. Should we drop everything and head for simple country life?? Could we cut it out in rural life? Scratch that. We'd probably go crazy, but it's fun to think about the possibilities.

While I try to dig up the few photos that were taken of my Dad's own chicken coop transformation, I thought I would share three amazing books that inspired him to take that plunge (and has got me thinking rustic myself). All Their Own, The Craftsman Builder, and Woodstock Handmade Houses

Below are some pic excerpts of some of the exteriors. Interiors (my fav) in part deux.

More scans on Flickr.

I'm just blown away by the creativity, thoughtfulness and resourcefulness that went into these homes. They were built over time and evolved organically with limited resources, but ultimate's authentic rustic charm...not the kind you read about in real estate's genuine character. Geodesic dome on top of a cedar-shaked double-wide character!

(abv) Love the gesture of this structure's roof was actually architect designed and built as his personal hippie home.

The above is built partially into the ground for heating/cooling. The slanted roof runs to the ground to head off the north winds another passive solar feature and one my Dad used on the chicken coop to ward off the Michigan winter winds.

Not exactly sure what's happening here, but I think this is his artist studio/workshop. I could definitely work there!

Sweet treehouse! Me want! The triangular window collage is such a cool feature. Not sure if that staircase is code...

Ok check out Flickr and stay tuned for Part Two.

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A Great Big Mess..For A Great New Start

We've been doing some MAJOR spring cleaning, purging, and re-organizing....and pretty much turning our house upside-down! This was the state of our house shuffling everything around before we had the L&G Spring Vintage Sale! EEEEK!!

Who would have thought that we had this much stuff! (...actually probably everyone else knew except US!) ....we were THIS close on becoming hoarders buried alive...So part of the reason...besides the fact that we had hoarding issues....we also decided to do this purge so we can create a designated working space for L&G!!
This is especially important since Dylan is now OFFICIALLY working on L&G FULL TIME!!
We're gonna take L&G to the next level...make & design more things full time without killing each other!
It's been totally liberating to let go of the things we had. But mostly we're SO excited for all the new changes & the things we'll get to do for ourselves and for L&G!!

Here's what we got planned:

Turn what was previously our bedroom to L&G office:
-Expand our Dansk desk so can be usable on both sides
-Closet will become shipping & supplies area.
-Put a WHOLE wall of shelving with these CHEAP Ikea shelving system.
-Have desk lamps!

Turn what was previously our office/storage to a minimal & cozy bedroom:
-Colors: white, black, natural
-Materials: cheap pine sheets & cynder blocks for shelving, ropes & metal tubes for open hanging racks.
-plants & hanging plants!

Our main source of inspiration for our new spaces...The House Book 1974 by Terence Conran:
This book is one of our favorite go-to book for ideas when we need inspirations for our space...

Love the feel of this photo for our bedroom!!
It would be a total dream come true to have just simple open shelves like this in our office for books, stereo and things...
ahh....more storage ideas...

yah...I'd be perfectly happy if I can just live in this book...



I'd Like To Tap That: Modern Dream House

I love LOVE every part of this modern house by Linea Studio based in the UK.
There isn't a corner in the house that I don't love....even the dusts in the corner and the smudges on the window....

So, to warn you, there's gonna be a lot of me going "I like this...I like that...and OH-EM-GEEE... I LUV it!" repeatedly through out this post....

To start....
Check... THIS...out!! Look at this staircase with shelves on the side!! SCREAM!
and look at all the cute things on it! (still screaming!)
...SO want open shelves like that for our kitchen so I can display our housewares collection too...

Man....I really would also love a nice open kitchen like that....or to have room for a dinning table instead of sitting on the floor by our coffee table while my feet fall asleep during our dinner...
One thing though...I personally think it might just be a little TOO open. I mean just looking at how much empty space they have on the floor there!
Now...if it was US living there, we'd totally want to take advantage of that empty "wasted" floor space and turn it into a L&G packing & shiping area or something totally awesome like that... I like those chairs....
Love the lights, love the floor, love the Finel heart bowl with the plant in it.
I also like the cleverly integrated landing unit and shelves.
Hello...metal flat drawers , giant working desk table with classy chairs, and that whole set of Domus magazines....I like you guys, too.
Clean, simple & nice looking bathroom..I like the simple towel holder pole...oh yes I do.
How fun was that?!
I can do this all day and look at all the photos of this place over & over again....and fantasize about me living there in that house...even as a particle of dust in the corner... 


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I'd like to Tap That...White Cottage

Juli & John, a Toronto based design couple from Kitka Design blog (also runs an incredible design shop, Mjölk) made an 180 degree transformation of a family cottage from a drab and cluttered place and turned it into an incredible open modern and charming cottage with fantastic vintage finds through out.
Looking at this place made me decide that the next house we live in shall be painted all white, open spaced with high ceilings...and right next to the water!
Wait...let me rephrase. The next house we live in shall be THIS place!  Sorry to break the news to you guys, Juli & John, we're gonna have to evict you both.... 
But seriously though...I love everything about this adorable cabin.  I just like how they stayed true to the concept of having a vacation cabin where its a place to getaway from the usual clutter, chaos, and distractions. It's about just having the old books, listen to old records, play board games, watch the sea, wander around, and not think about anything besides figuring out what to cook for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I much rather think about that kind of things than about all the errands I need to do, when I should avoid traffic, or wondering why the person driving in front has their signal light on when they're not actually turning!
It seem so rare to find ourselves doing actual relaxing activities with all the distractions in the city and our daily routine...and then there's always the need to do computer work at night, too. How did we ever convince ourselves that emailing or blogging in the middle of the night is relaxing?!?  The curse of the interweb!
OOH! OOH! My favorite game! I spy...Kaj Frank enamel bowls, Copco pans and fondue pot, Dansk Jens Quistgaard pepper mill and bowl, Erik Magnussens's red pitcher, Jasper Morrison's coffee maker...oh my!! Ahh..what lovely minimal rooms with just the right amount of simplicity and coziness.
Another reason to have a cabin like this is so I can have cute shoes and take pictures like this.....
Doesn't this make you want to just go and get a cabin somewhere?

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I'd LIke to Tap that...Barn House

This is a barn that's been converted to an amazing house by a Seattle based architecture firm, SHED.
I love the rustic charm of barns in general. The fact that they turned an already wonderful barn into something even more awesome makes me furious!
(only because I'm jealous that someone is living in a space like that...and I'm not. boo on them)
Love the wood siding used for the interior. So nice....